We already mentioned that money and profit are the wrong motivation and reward in our current capitalist economy, where money is assumed to be the only thing that we can procure and use for all our needs and wants in order to be happy and self-fulfilled, and we are misled that the more money we have, the more joy we can gain. As a result, money has become the most powerful motive in our almost every pursuit. However, in reality, even though we have finite physical needs that have to be paid for with cash, there are infinite wants which originate from various human emotional needs deep down inside each of us, such as love, friendship and happiness. Those emotional needs can never be satisfied by money and they directly and considerably affect the quality of our lives.
How do we currently fulfill those emotional needs that money cannot buy? There is no one set of directions leading to success, so each of us is on our own, bumbling along to find the way. Inevitably, the lucky ones of us eventually get there and the unlucky ones of us get lost. A lot of us also get confused that money can be an equivalent substitute or can act as a gateway to our destination and end up being disenchanted, astray or adrift.
Why is it so hard to fulfill those emotional needs? The short answer is we are too busy working, making money and spending money to pay attention to, to learn about and to take care of our emotional health which is more abstract and subtle and less distinct and recognizable than our physical health. Even with our material progress and prosperity in the U.S., we are not happier as a nation than some other nations or our previous generations. As our collective emotional health and the related mental health deteriorate, we are now seeking more answers and hopefully more solutions.
While individuals can and may pursue solutions on their own, it is made all the more challenging and difficult by our modern society which imposes many structural obstacles, e.g. lack of public awareness and understanding of emotional and mental health, non-existent or inadequate coverage under the health insurance systems, lack of priority and funding at the public health level, under-investment in research, diagnosis and treatment infrastructure, etc. However, one of the predominant obstacles is insufficient personal down time, due to our increasing demands from our jobs and our modern lifestyle. The fact that we, Americans, work more hours, take less vacation, and retire later than our industrialized competitors, means that there is less time for everything else, including catering to our emotional needs. Lack of balance in our lives leads to lack of harmony inside our minds.
It is not difficult to see the relationship between the profit overdrive of capitalism and the physical and emotional malady of the workers. In the constant push to lift profit, for-profit economic enterprises have to either increase revenue and/or lower costs. One of the tactics is to squeeze more out of their workers. Weakened unions, especially their bargaining power, replacement of full-time workforce with outsourcing, automation and robots, less job security, depressed wages, less paid working hours, aggressive benefits cuts, heavier and more demanding workloads, etc, that affect the labor force directly and negatively, are all deployed by employers to boost their bottom line. On the surface, those companies may enjoy higher output, productivity and profit, but only at the expense of their employees.
There is a limit as to how much longer such a deplorable situation can continue. When a large number in the working class complain about being worried, anxious, stressed, nervous, frazzled, or burnt-out and are disadvantaged, something has to give at a certain point. Greedy capital owners co-opt the exploitation of all resources under capitalism in the name of profit. In this scenario, their labor force is the target and the victim. With the race to the bottom on, the labor mistreatment has spread and become pervasive. An unhappy workforce inexorably and inevitably becomes an unproductive workforce.
The end result is that economic output, productivity and profit will eventually suffer and decline and we are already witnessing signs of them. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American worker productivity as of 2015 fell for the first time since the late 1970s on a year-on-year basis. While the economists are looking at the numbers and scratching their heads to figure out why, the reality of the poor labor situation already tells the story.
What is the alternative? Can we make everyone happy and still have a productive economy? Of course we can. But changes have to be made. We have to start to value and nurture productive labor. We cannot continue to prioritize economic output, productivity and profit over human labor. Human labor and their wellness have to come first because without them, there will be no economy at all. NATORZ can do that. NATORZ can offer consistent mental stimulation by letting us realize our full human potential and spiritual fulfillment by addressing our emotional needs through human connection, self-empowerment, beauty creation and happiness.
Let us imagine what if…